Talented galloper Deimos makes his much-awaited racing comeback in the penultimate race on Sunday, the S$60,000 Class 4 race over 1100m on Polytrack.
Trainer Cliff Brown was overall satisfied with the rather diminutive but stout Showcasing four-year-old’s level of fitness after being off the scene for five months, but still wished a better gate was on his side, just to make things a little easier for him first-up.
A two-time winner, first in a Restricted Maiden race over 1100m then in a Class 4 race over 1200m when he flashed home with a barnstorming finish from near-last, Deimos was last seen in the Singapore Guineas (1600m) when he ran last to Forever Young.
The Australian conditioner said the chestnut needed a break after a tough three-year-old campaign and he was now looking forward to seeing him continuing on an upward curve.
“He’s going okay, his work has been good. He trialled okay on Tuesday (fourth to Gran Torino), it was a quiet trial,” said Brown.
“He didn’t run a bad race in the Guineas. Maybe the mile might have been a bit far.
“We’ll see how he goes first-up. He didn’t get a great gate (13), though, that’s a bit of a negative.”
With Michael Rodd suspended, Brown has engaged the services of apprentice jockey Amirul Ismadi, who seems to have struck a rich vein of form with Brown of late.
Stephen Gray’s Malaysian apprentice jockey’s last three wins from his overall 2017 tally of six have all been for Brown, two of them for Deimos’ owner, Astley Phua of Olympian Stable. The third one was Laughing Buffalo.
“We’ve had a bit of luck with Amirul this year. He claims two and besides, Michael is suspended this week or he would have ridden him,” said Brown.
Rodd, who takes first refusal on Brown’s horses, has actually ridden Deimos only twice at his nine starts. The only two jockeys to have saluted on Deimos are Gerald Mosse (replacing Corey Brown) and Vlad Duric.
Brown said he would take it one race at a time with Deimos, with that first-up run crucial in determining what path to plot thereafter.
“I’ll play it by ear. I haven’t planned anything for him really,” he said. -STC